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stu

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Everything posted by stu

  1. Hello. I'm not new but it's been so long since I was on here that I feel new again. I moved back to the UK from Ireland recently and my last remaining hen in Ireland was re-homed before the move. I am now the proud keeper of four rescue hens... Clog, Sandal, Moccasin and Slipper. They live in my old Eglu Cube, which did make the move... where they have actually managed to grow some new feathers. Hopefully I'll be about to see what people are up to.
  2. Well am gutted now. I can;t find the quote at all, but if you don;t want to sit through many hours of Winnie the Pooh DVD's..? It's: The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Luck Amok/Magic Earmuffs Season one, episode 15
  3. Any recollection I have of Winnie the Pooh, is now through the books of Benjamin Hoff: The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet, in which reference to the Piglet quote on being brave is mentioned. "It is hard to be brave, when you’re only a very small animal." Off the top of me head, I don't know which of the A A Milne stories it is in, but it is very definitely said by Piglet himself. Am not a fan of the Disney Pooh stories... so can't even imagine where that quote might come in their movies/shorts, and it wouldn't surprise me if they (Disney) changes who said it, for the purposes of a more endearing story telling. [edit] Couldn't resist... I had to check. It's in the first Milne book Winnie the Pooh (1926) and the chapter is 7: In Which Kanga and Baby Roo Come to the Forest and Piglet has a Bath
  4. We have a mix of plants and herbs (most mentioned above)... our rhubarb is in the flowerbeds too, a well as the bay tree. Don't forget that if you plant a lot of perennials in there, you might be faced with a lot of open space during the cooler months and waiting for them to shoot again. Our gardens are a work in progress, and some things just either don't work or just look wrong... be radical..!! but be prepared to be 'un-radical' too, when this happens.
  5. The best way to deter a fox is... keep bears..!! Foxes are very mechanistic in how they live... keep a diary, find any patterns (Yearly, monthly and weekly) and manage the chicken within it
  6. Mine gets to about 45 and I don't worry about it at all. If you want to take advantage of the heat though... water the floor regularly... the toms will thank you for the increased humidity. If the leaves start and turn 'crisp'.. then I might put a partial shade for them, but not total. Ready made tomato soup doesn't sound so bad, but your sandwiches will suck big time
  7. I have had a Eureka moment, and as a result of the direct damage to my barely developing flower garden. Take a square meter of green plastic coated chicken-wire, and lay it over an 18" plant pot, then squash it in with another 18" plant pot, stamp the edges flat and voila..!! A perfect and almost invisible chicken-proof cage for your struggling to grow and chicken wrecked bedding plants. Granted, the price of a small roll of chicken-wire (1 by 10M) surprised me, but when you put the €20odd against the cost of replacement plants (€5-10 a piece), it make perfect sense to me now.
  8. I leave a broody to brood, but remove the eggs from under them when they do rise (and they will from time to time) I leave a ceramic one there though so they will sit that, but only try and break the brood relatively late (after a couple of weeks) A broody will lose weight and possibly their under-feathers as well, but they might easily be tempted by some treats if left close to them. The reason i don't try and break the brood early is that the interventions to do so always sound a little drastic for what is essentially a natural process anyway (putting them in lofted cages etc sounds a bit cruel to me) Now am not saying that I have seen broodies just sit the bars or even nest outside the run at all... I would keep an eye on this, but again.... a relatively young hen... you'd be surprised just how hard wired they're not when it comes to driven behaviours like a brood. It may take them a couple of tries to get it right.
  9. My chickens don't actually use the cube ladder and have an old fashioned piece of plank with batons attached, it rests on the stoop of the door and the door still closes fine... they zoom up that, and don't put their feet through either... which they tend to do when the plank is out (I take it out to scrub it)
  10. I never pick my chicken up, even though they will eat at my feet and out of my hand, there just never seems the need to, and they can be coaxed anywhere in the garden if I need to move them. They do their own thing (usually eat the flowers at this time of year and have to be flapped away), and they know what nets and things are so they avoid them.
  11. My red cube was never really that red.... even when it was new... it's more of an orange. It's years old now but I don;t think it's any less orange, but as stated above, if you stood it next to a new one... it's probable faded. I wish I had bought another colour, vut it still looks good in the Veg Garden, either way.
  12. I gave up my job in academia in 2008 and moved from the UK to Ireland, where, it has to be said. circumstances allowed me to (had we not been able to afford this... I would not even have considered it). I didn;t hate my job, but was pleased to be moving on from it... as with so many situations... things get tougher... fewer people doing more work and increased pressure. The advantages of being in a job are that you can generally predict this 'deterioration' in your workload... the problem with circumstances is that you can't predict them at all, and as you might imagine... they don;t always go in your favour. I would be very careful about just up and quitting a job that allowed me to live, and not without some form of risk assessment, and by this I mean... what is the worst that can happen to your circumstances? It is your right now I believe to be able to tale a career break of up to three years (Thanks to European employment law?) I might be wrong, but ask for it... take some time away, and if you can get by without your work (being able to work another job on a career break is up to your employer)... all well and good. Good luck
  13. Yup... sorry to confuse. One of the hens hatched it out. It eats chick crumb and seems to be doing alright. At the slightest peril, it hides under the mother and the cockerel gets all pumped up, so am hoping that they will keep it safe from the likes of cats (Cats tend not to like going ner the hens anyway, but a small one can be tempting) I figure the worst time for them might be later, and things that fly about, but I can easily get them home and close the run up, if they haven;t taken themselves off to the run anyway... which they seem to do in good time lately. Cheers
  14. Okay... it's a long story, and much to do with us thinking that our 'cockerel' was some kind of hybrid because for ages it looked like a hen, but if this thing could have taken my photo when i peeked in the cube hatch..? It would have been one of immense surprise, to say the least. Basically, we have a baby chick... just the one but it seems quite feisty and integrated into the house no problem. The problem I have... is how long does it have to stay in the run? We don't have a walk in run and just the 2 extensions to the cube itself (3 meters floor space) It has been in the garden and led the rest of the hens a merry dance behind the fence, but they all came back safe and sound. It sticks closely to the 'mother' and she seems pretty good at caring for it, and the cockerel is a hardy sod, and also seems very capable of looking after them too. I am reluctant to change a whole way of life for the hens and am not a 'soft' touch when it comes to the hens... they do their own thing. There is a flock down the road from us that is left basically to their own devices... they make chicks and the chicks do okay without any additional care.
  15. We have an assortment of birds living in our roof... it's thatched, and they just crawl in between the top layer and the older roof. Thy make a right mess, but I don't mind them... thy can be quite entertaining... mostly when they fly out just as you pass them and squawk at you like 'you're' doing something wrong and not them. I don't know what breeds they are
  16. Yes... it's amazing... you never seem to see a slug or a snail until you try and grow something and the amount just a single snail can eat..? Wow..!! My wife suggested I replant and keep the new seedlings next to something 'aromatic'... apparently they avoid 'smelly' plants..? Worth a try as I have geraniums and lavender going too, and they are untouched, as yet. And yes too... we are really just coming into the warmer weather, so not too much of a setback, but still... *sigh* The only beer traps i use are in the raised beds... Stupidly, I didn't think the greenhouse was at risk but we live and learn Incidentally... I paid €4.99 for a pack of chilli seeds... which had inside it 7 seeds... 5 grew, and 4 demolished one i looked at had a leaf left and a new set coming... so am hopeful it might survive.
  17. My four chilli seedlings have 'bit the dust'... along with three of my cherry tomato seedlings too. Am gutted..! The snail in residence, and deemed guilty by virtue of it being there... apart from me hoping it suffers severe heart-burn... has been thrown to the sparrows. Gardening..! Feels like war sometimes.
  18. Good: Tomatoes Gerkins Swedes Cabbages Salads Potatoes Sugarsnaps Fair: Beets Courgettes Carrots Parsnips Beans Disaster: Onions (I swear, there are smaller than th sets I put in) Garlic (tiny but useable) Strawberries (Forgot to lift the net during flowering) Currants (Think I cut back this years fruiting shoots by mistake) Cauliflowers (No clue... just "Ooops, word censored!") Apples (5 in total... bitter) Pears (none at all) Good but eaten by the birds (not chickens) Goosegogs Cherries Rasberries Second Salads All in all.. am a total novice and this is good for me. I think if we had had Spring when it was supposed to be here, things might have done better. There's always next year *sigh*
  19. I actually did this today, but since then did some exploring, and since we have just had a major garden overhaul, and have a rather large bed set aside for a wild meadow which is still soft,I decided to have a close look at it, and... discovered some dog/fox prints. I have heard of foxes being crafty enough to pull birds through mesh (sorry I don't want to conjure up any bad imagery here) piece by piece. The girls are in the house tonight, and will be made to use it from now on, and I plan on sitting out in the early hours (Maybe with a few beers) to see what comes of this. If am honest... I hope it is a fox, as this I can deal with... a weasel..? Am beginning to doubt this, but all I can think of is a trap and diversionary feeding.
  20. Bearing in mind, I read this post, thanks: http://club.omlet.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=94554 This morning I discovered two birds missing... well one was missing and the other scattered about the outside of the run. There is no explanation that I can see, and the run is pretty much fast to blocks at the edges and a dirt-bath/ground area in the middle. There is no hole, and I can only imagine that the birds were somehow pulled through the mesh after being caught by something..? It's not humans, I don't think, unless they actually chewed the birds to make a gratuitous point. The birds won't go into the house for love nor money, but they will be caught and placed in from now on. That said... if this is something like a weasel... can it get through the air vents..?
  21. We need a sticky for 'rats'. Every time I come back here, someone has a rat problem, and I agree... it's not you... it's just the nature of rats... they are everywhere. You don't normally see them until there is food that they have to work harder to get (like chicken food behind a mesh) Drainpipe are brilliant. I crush four blocks of raid to powder, add some poisoned grain and wrap this in newspaper and shove in about three foot of drainpipe, and check/replace weekly. It's important to know that: If you touch the poison, rats will take about a fortnight to take it because of the small of a person being so different to the context of the food... 'they' say If rats can carry poison away, they will... they are hoarders and store food. Rats climb, and hedgehogs tend not to for food, so if you can, put the pipe off the ground somewhere. You can even paint the pipe... the rats won't mind, and it'll be a little easier on the eye for you. If you are using poison.. make sure that there is a ready supply of water available away from the house. The more cruel sounding bit: If you see a rat and can reach it... kill it..!! Hit it with a spade of some such similar item. Get a cat... it'll kill rats and leave the chickens well alone. I live in the middle of nowhere, and am no stranger to rats... I hate them Good luck
  22. I'm no expert of how chickens settle, but it's funny you should mention construction and chickens settling in. We just got five young birds and they are in a fixed position in a cube, and a few yards from where they are, we have a 'massive' reconfiguration of the rest of the garden going on, and this has meant a rather oversized digger and dumper truck in residence for two weeks. Even now, there is noisy machinery going. The chicken..? They're settling in nicely, have no symptoms of being stressed, and whilst they ran away from the noise at first, within a few minutes they are at the wire, watching what's going on... quite the thing. Chickens are far more robust than we give them credit for. I stand to be corrected by someone with more knowledge, but... go for it..! and good luck... our garden has never been the same since we lost of last bunch, and I am really pleased to have a few 'ladies' back.
  23. The only thing I can think of that you can plant late and that grow fast would be salad leaves? You can get mixed leaves. Beans are okay to plant any time too, in the sense that they will easily grow, and are a bit more interesting than salad.

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